March 22, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
Cal head coach Joanne Boyle
"We're really excited. It's our first tournament win. It takes a little bit of the punch out of it. We're relaxed and ready to move forward and get that first win. It was a hard competitive fought game. I'm proud of my team how they responded to the physicalness of the game."
On the fast start to the game
"We were sitting around waiting for about 10 days to play a game. It was good to get off to a fresh start and relax a little bit. We were all a little nervous to get the game started. It settled us down a little bit."
On Ashley Walker having eight offensive rebounds
"It was huge. I felt they made an adjustment in the second half. When you play zone, it's tough to find an individual to box out. You're trying to scramble. The great thing about Ashley is that she's so quick to the ball. It's hard to find her in those situations. She got a lot off of some rebounds. In the zone, she got a lot of putbacks. She's crafty down there in that short corner area. It's tough to find her."
On looking ahead to George Washington
"It's a great match-up. I told these guys in the locker room that I think San Diego helped prepare us for a very physical game. I thought the second half of today's game became very physical. We have to keep our composure to be successful on Monday. Joe (McKeown) does a great job. I know him from the A 10. They play the blizzard match-up zone. They really try to pressure your guards to not let your posts touch it. I expect the same against us although they've changed it up with a little bit of man. They ball hawk. They're all over you. You have to be able to control tempo and get big with the ball and be strong with it. If you're coming out with lazy passes, it'll be a long night. Tonight helped us prepare because it was a pretty physical game. We need to set the tempo on Monday."
Cal forward Ashley Walker
On Cal setting the tone of the game
"It's our first try back (at the NCAA Tournament) with Lexi (Gray-Lawson). We were really excited to get back on the floor. We had a long break. We came out with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity. Once we got one or two baskets we were good and ready to go."
On Cal's post defense and defending Amber Sprague
"She's a very good player. She's very mobile and very athletic. Dev (Hampton) and I felt we had to do a really good job on the perimeter with her and try to get her more on the block and battle with us. That was something we were looking for. She's a very good player. Dev did a very good job and Rama when she was on her."
On how important today's win is to validate the season
"It's another one of our goals we've strived to get to this year. We really wanted to win this game. We came out and played hard. Things didn't necessarily go our way at the end of the season. We wanted to show who we really are and what we can do in this tournament, and hopefully we can keep doing it."
Cal center Devanei Hampton
On how tough it is on opponents when Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker are both playing well
"I really can't answer for them. Ashley and I, Rama (N'diaye) and Krista (Foster) work on it every day in practice. We battle against guys every day. We love the contact and love the game. We just go out and play our game. When the defense doubles us, we adjust really well because that's what we practice."
On if there is a feeling of a relief getting the NCAA Tournament win
"Of course. This is something we said from the beginning. We focus on confidence and being tough and coming out and talking on defense and being energized on the floor."
Cal guard Natasha Vital
On how the 10-day break helped the team
"We got a chance to work on our execution offensively both in zone and man. And, we really got back to our basic defense. We were really focused on keeping their guards out on the perimeter and not letting them penetrate on us and our help side (defense)."
San Diego head coach Fisher
"Last year, we made it to the NIT, and this year we made it to the NCAA Tournament, so I definitely think that the program is heading in the right direction. We obviously have some great young players who gave us some wonderful minutes tonight. The future is very bright."
On the challenge of matching up with Cal
"They're a three seed for a reason and I thought they played an outstanding game."
On post-game comments
"I told them I'm proud of them, to keep their heads up and smile and feel good about the fact that they've taken us this far. One of my favorite sayings is you'll go as far as your seniors will take you, and I think our seniors took us pretty darn far this year. So we just have to build on that and keep believing."
On foul trouble
"Obviously you want to keep Amber (Sprague) out of foul trouble so she can do something on the offensive end and attack, but they went right at her. We were hoping to do the same to them and get them in foul trouble, but it's a different game at this level. We're not used to getting beat up inside and being very physical in the post. (If) you make it to the NCAA tourney, they're going to let you play"
San Diego guard Amanda Rego
On the challenge of getting into the paint
"I let my nerves get to me early on. I was forcing some shots and not hitting shots that I would normally hit. I thought we were able to attack pretty well. We were getting into the lanes. The guards were getting in there. We just weren't finishing"
On her career highlights
"I thought we showed a lot of character when we started out 0-5 in conference, and the character that took to fight out of that at 7-7 in conference and win the conference tournament."
San Diego guard Sam Child
On challenge of getting into the paint
"We knew it was going to be a physical match-up, and we knew getting in the lane was going to be a point of emphasis that we wanted to have from the guards because we knew if we could get into the lane, we could dish the ball to the post. But Cal was definitely very physical and big"